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Tuesday, October 24, 2006



Ferdy Murphy is looking to plunder some big races on the second day of Wetherby's bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting on Saturday, October 28, with hopes especially high for Green Ideal in the £25,000 Weatherbys Bank Handicap Chase (2.20pm), run over an extended two and a half miles.

The eight-year-old, a dual-winner around that trip last season, was pulled up in a valuable handicap chase at Ireland's Punchestown Festival in April on his latest outing, but the North Yorkshire-based trainer reckons his charge is in good order ahead of his reappearance.

"Green Ideal is a definite starter in the Weatherbys Bank Handicap Chase and the more rain the better for him - he really comes into his own on a testing surface," commented Murphy this morning.

"He actually ran quite well at Punchestown in April - he was bang there at the third last, but then got struck into, and Timmy (Murphy) had to ease him down.

"One day he will win a decent prize. He's a very tough horse and a good money spinner. He's been working very well and would be my best chance of a winner at Wetherby this weekend."

Murphy is considering an ambitious tilt at the £90,000 Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (3.25pm) with Leading Man, a 33/1 chance with the sponsors. The six-year-old landed the One Man Novices' Chase at the track over the same three mile and one furlong trip last December, but failed to get competitive in three subsequent starts, pulling up behind The Bajan Bandit at Ayr on his last outing in February.

"If the rain comes he could go - we will monitor the weather, although he will need his first run," explained the North Yorkshire-based handler.

"He won the One Man Novices' Chase impressively at the track, so the bet365 Charlie Hall would be a nice race to start him in. If the ground stayed as it is (currently good to soft, soft in places), we would definitely consider the contest.

"We made a mistake running him at Cheltenham after Wetherby, where he got jarred up on ground too lively for him. But he's been put away and has grown up a lot, and he looks like a nice horse for the future."

The opening event on Saturday, October 28 is the £20,000 Listed Constant Security Wensleydale Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (1.45pm) over two miles for three-year-olds. Murphy has two entries, headed by French recruit Poker De Sivola, a promising second on his British debut behind another possible runner in European Dream over course and distance on October 11.

"Poker De Sivola needed the race first time at Wetherby and has come on for the run, but I think we'll be struggling to beat Katchit [won both hurdle starts] - he looks very impressive," Murphy continued.

"My one is an AQPS (non-thoroughbred) horse from France and once we get into the new year he will go over further. He did a nice piece of work this morning.

"Speed Up is a nice horse and another possible for the race, but no decision has been made about him."

The trainer confirmed that both Carlys Quest and Ile Maurice would take their chance in the £40,000 Grade Two John Smith's Hurdle (2.50pm), despite admitting they would be playing "second fiddle" to the likes of Black Jack Ketchum and My Way De Solzen, while Joes Edge will most likely head for the £8,000 bet365 Handicap Hurdle (5.10pm) over an extended two and a half miles, ahead of a chasing campaign.

Admission prices for Friday, October 27: Premier Enclosure £19; Paddock Enclosure £12; Course £4; Pick of the Paddock (advanced only) £16; Cars to Course (incl. four adults) £14; OAPs to Course £2; Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) are admitted free; Coach and car parking is free.

Admission prices for bet365 Charlie Hall Chase day, Saturday, October 28: Premier Enclosure £26; Paddock Enclosure £15; Course £5; Pick of the Paddock (advanced only) £19; Cars to Course (incl. four adults) £17; OAPs to Course £2.50; Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) are admitted free; Coach and car parking is free.




Newmarket's final meeting of the season this Friday and Saturday promises to end the season at the Home of Racing on a high, with total attendance across the 37 racedays set to exceed 350,000 for the fourth year in succession.

On Friday the racecourse pays tribute to Her Majesty The Queen in the year of her 80th birthday. The Queen will be attending following an invitation from the Jockey Club, of which she is Patron.

All the races are named after notable horses owned by Her Majesty - Monaveen, Highclere, Dunfermline, Pall Mall, Doutelle, Aureole and Canisbay - and two great jockeys from the past who won in the royal colours, Lester Piggott and Willie Carson, will join her and the Duke of Edinburgh for tea. The first race is currently scheduled for 1.30pm (though it is possible this will be brought forward if a race divides).

On Saturday, bet365 are supporting the entire card for the first time, including three Listed Races, the bet365 Zetland Stakes, the bet365.com EBF Montrose Fillies Stakes and the bet365 Ben Marshall Stakes all of which will be shown live on Channel 4, while they are also sponsoring the main Channel 4 televised race at Wetherby, the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase. Newmarket's first race on Saturday is at 1.30pm.

Frankie Dettori, who with 21 winners at Newmarket so far this is season is seven ahead of his nearest pursuer and therefore looking nailed on to land the inaugural Racing Post Champion Newmarket Jockey Award, will be looking to end the season at his local track in style.

His retained Godolphin stable have very strong entries over the two days, none more so than in Saturday's bet365 Ben Marshall Stakes where they have no less than seven entries, including nearly all the highest rated horses amongst the 22 engaged for the one mile contest.

Assuming he maintains his lead, Dettori will be presented with a magnificent bronze horse coffee table by internationally-renowned artist Mark Stoddart on Saturday.

Lisa Hancock, Managing Director of Newmarket Racecourses, said: "We are all set to round off another fantastic season at the Home of Racing in style this weekend, with The Queen's visit on Friday a real high point. There should be a very strong card and I hope that a big crowd will come along to help racing mark her 80th birthday. The latest weather prediction for both racedays is that it is likely to stay dry and pleasantly warm for this time of year.

"On Saturday we are hugely grateful to bet365 for their major new sponsorship with us. This day has staged particularly high quality racing in the last two or three seasons and a glance at the entries would indicate that it will do so again this year, with Frankie highly likely to add to his current haul of Newmarket victories before he is presented with his Racing Post Newmarket Champion Jockey Award.

"It has been another very successful year for Newmarket Racecourses, with total attendance set to reach just over 350,000 for the fourth season running. For me the best day of the year was Champions' Day 10 days ago, when a big crowd enjoyed one of the best day's racing Newmarket has probably ever staged, but the victories of George Washington and Speciosa at the Stan James Guineas Festival in May were also fantastic, as were both the racing and the weather at the Ritz Cub July Festival. All in all it has been a spectacular season."

Admission prices: Day Members £20; Grandstand & Paddock £13. All accompanied children aged under 16 admitted FREE. 10% advance booking discount if you book in advance online 48 hours in advance at www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk For more information call the booking hotline on 01638 675 500.

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